Started the BSD. Trying a weekly blog.

  • posted by Michael5
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    After many years of skipping meals followed by late night takeaways and a recent diagnosis of a non-alcoholic fatty liver, last Monday I weighed myself for the first time in months and clocked in at 19st 8lbs, a weight which requires me to lose nearly 3.5 stone just to be considered overweight rather than obese! After my first week of ~800 calories a day, I have managed to lose just over 8lbs and thought I should write a few notes down to help motivate me to go through the full 8 weeks and to transition into a more healthy eating pattern.

    1. Keeping to around 800 calories has been fairly easy and I’ve not often felt hungry. I have however been feeling tired for the last couple of days. This morning, getting out of bed required a bit of effort, even though I’d been asleep for just over 8 hours. I’ve been drinking well over 2 litres of water a day (closer to 4), so I’m hoping it’s just a couple of day thing as I felt fine over the first few days which are normally supposed to be hardest. Likewise, I’ve been feeling a little mentally fuzzy – not for day to day tasks, but when having to concentrate on more demanding things. Did anybody else have similar problems?

    2. While keeping to the calorie limit hasn’t been a problem, keeping the carbs down has been. I’ve been eating around about 100g of carbs a day according to myfitnesspal. This is pretty much entirely due to my deciding to switch to a vegan diet. I’ve searched for lower carb recipes, but when most of your protein comes from legumes it’s difficult to eat really low carb foods, even when cutting out bread, pasta etc. I’ve searched this site for advice, but if any vegetarians / vegans had any advice to reduce this further, it would be much appreciated.

    Anyway 1 week down, 7 to go. Starting weight 19st 8lbs, current weight 18st 13.5lbs.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi Michael5, yes tiredness is caused by the diet until you get used to it. Dont try to do too much in the way of exercise and let your body adjust. I assume from your 100g carbs they are coming from things like lentils, beans etc and not rice or pasta etc. Dont worry, you are a big guy and you are losing weight, you can always adjust as the weight comes off. Dr M doesn’t give a total carb allowance, just the 800 cals and if you are sticking to that you cannot be eating too much carb as it is also calorie dense. Keep on keeping on…

  • posted by Michael5
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    Hi Sunshine Girl, thanks for the tip, all the carbs are from vegetables and beans – no “white” carbs. Hopefully the tiredness will pass in the next few days. How long did it take for you?

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Which vegetables do you eat the most of? Not all are created equal, carb-wise.

  • posted by Michael5
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    A whole range of veg really, a few root vegetables such as carrots, but mostly things like kale, spinach, tomatoes, onions etc. What vegetables have the lowest carbs?

  • posted by Theodora
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    Hi Michael
    Well done on your weight loss to date.

    Yes, tiredness and fuzziness is just a symptom of your body being forced to adjust. So can being cold not that, assuming you are in the UK, that would be a problem at the moment 😜 Don’t worry, our bodies are very adaptable and this phase doesn’t last long – a few days or a week maybe.

    As far as veg are concerned, the general rule is those growing above ground good, those growing beneath bad. Well obviously not bad bad, but MUCH higher in carbs, as is fruit, so best to limit both if you can.

    The diet doctor website is an excellent resource for information

    A Low-Carb Diet for Beginners

    and downloading an app like fatsecret or myfitnesspal, if you’ve not already done so, will help you monitor everything, keep a record for you and monitor your diet.

    Good luck.

  • posted by Michael5
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    So I’ve just finished week two and lost another 7lbs, which is great, but it has been really difficult. On Thursday and Friday I felt particularly tired, to the point where I wouldn’t have felt comfortable driving. I’ve also woken about an hour before my alarm most mornings, still feeling tired and have really had to force myself to get going. On the flip side, except on Saturday, when I went out for a meal that didn’t turn up until 9pm, I’ve not really felt particularly hungry.

    I’ve done a bit more planning on my meals to get the carbs down, even though I’m eating a vegan diet. More tofu and nuts, less vegetables has let me get the carbs down to ~65 per day, so hopefully that will improve things. If not, I think I’m going to have to move to a higher calorie diet.

    2 weeks down, 6 to go. Starting weight 19st 8lbs, current weight 18st 6.5lbs.

  • posted by kate368
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    Hi Michael5
    In the book, Michael suggests easting your dinner later if you are having trouble sleeping. Maybe this would help?
    Great inspirational posts and changes you are making. I find it tricky to meal plan without being vegan so credit to you!

  • posted by Michael5
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    Thanks for the tip Kate. As for meal planning, I’m only cooking for myself, which makes things much easier as I can batch cook and freeze many meals. I’ve been using MFP to plan my meals for the following week before I go shopping and then sticking my meal plan on the fridge. I am starting to hoard Tupperware though!

  • posted by kate368
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    Know what you mean about the Tupperware…I’m the same. But it’s a good use for all those previous takeaway containers πŸ™‚

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Can I ask a question about Tupperware or any unbranded plastic containers. I gave my plastics drawer a right good tidy, stacked according to size so they would fit inside each other, checked all the lids for fitting, no splits etc. Then the first time I went to put some left over chilli in an appropriately sized box I couldn’t find the lid. Are they like socks in the washing machine, where do they disappear to. Not a serious question but still b—–dy annoying.

  • posted by Theodora
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    S-g – your house isn’t the only one to have a Tupperware Gremlin!

    I am just packing up everything for my dogs to go to stay with their dog-sitter for the next 5 days, and portioning all their meals out into containers. Like you, I have a dedicated drawer, full of containers of various sizes (doesn’t everyone?) but can I find a single lid to fit? Plenty of lids, yes! Lids that fit? NO!!!!

    Grrrr – that Tupperware Gremlin is almost as persistent as the dreaded Carb Monster!!!

  • posted by Michael5
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    So, I’ve just completed week 3 and it’s been a lot easier than last week for sure. I initially managed to keep the carbs down, but I’ve found that, unless I eat tofu for breakfast, it’s very difficult to keep them below 80 or so on a vegan diet. It’s all “good” carbs, from vegetables, beans and berries, but I’ll still try and work on keeping them down. That said, I’ve had significantly more energy over the last few days. I even managed a couple of gentle gym sessions! So I doubt it’s too much of a problem.

    One more week to go and I’ll be halfway there πŸ™‚

    3 weeks down, 5 to go. Starting weight 19st 8lbs, current weight 18st 0.5lbs.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Wow, 1.5 stone in 3 weeks, you must be well pleased.

  • posted by Michael5
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    Very pleased thank you Sunshine Girl. Even more pleased that I’m feeling better than I was in week 2 as it gives me confidence in completing the full 8 weeks πŸ™‚

  • posted by kate368
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    Hey Michael, that’s seriously impressive. You must be able to see and feel the difference by now as well surely? Seriously chuffed for you πŸ™‚

  • posted by Michael5
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    Thanks Kate. Although I do seem to be going through the dreaded plateau stage at the moment. The perils of being a daily weigher! I’m aiming to get down to 12st 7lbs eventually, so there’s still a long way to go, but it’s nice to have made such a quick start.

  • posted by Michael5
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    Just crossed the halfway mark by finishing week 4 on Sunday and, this morning, I weighed in at 17st 10.5lbs. Last week really came in two parts. From Saturday in week 3 to last Thursday, I hadn’t lost any weight at all and, despite knowing it was just a plateau, I still found it pretty frustrating. I decided to head to the gym on Thursday and Friday and in my frustration over did things a bit, which tired me out for the weekend. The scales did start moving again however and pretty much entirely over the weekend, I dropped 4lbs.

    I’m going to see the test match on Sunday, which will require a bit of planning. Especially as the previous times I’ve been, it’s been a rather boozy affair. I’ll need to sort out a packed lunch and lots of water bottles!

    Thanks to everyone who’s replied. If anybody has any advice about transitioning back to a sustainable diet after completing the 8 weeks, I’d love to hear it.

    4 weeks down, 4 to go. Starting weight 19st 8lbs, current weight 17st 10.5lbs.

  • posted by kate368
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    Great loss to date Michael but what a frustrating week you had! I’ like your plans for the test match…in my experience. Ewe has featured quite heavily, particularly if you have to wait for play to restart! Best of luck πŸ™‚

  • posted by Michael5
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    Week 5 is done and I’m now weighing in at 17st 6lbs. I’ve found the last week tougher than some of the previous ones. I often felt tired and it took me 3 days to re-decorate my kitchen, when it normally would have been a 2 day job.

    The cricket yesterday wasn’t too bad, although not doing much did remind me how hungry I was feeling. I still managed to stick to the 800 calories I’d planned and didn’t let the smells from the burger vans distract me.

    I’ve now only got 3 weeks to go and, while it feels difficult, it also feels achievable. I’m looking to transition to eating around about 2400 calories a day once the 3 weeks are up, probably by adding around 400 calories to my daily allowance each week until I’m back there. If anybody has any advice about transitioning to a regular diet after the 8 weeks, I’d love to hear it.

    5 weeks down, 3 to go. Starting weight 19st 8lbs, current weight 17st 6lbs.

  • posted by Mixnmatch
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    My advice about transitioning is do it gradually. I added 50 calories a day and just kept going but in control until I got where I wanted to, and that worked very well for me, but may cause more weight loss as you transition, as you are still effectively fasting for a while. That equates to about 260 calories extra on average each week so would take 6 weeks ish to reach your new level. Keep it the good stuff though, just more of it and limit white stuff and alcohol.

  • posted by Michael5
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    Thanks for the tip Mixnmatch. I’m hoping to get fit enough to cycle the 15 minutes to work without being a horrible sweaty mess when I get there, but there’s no way I could do that twice a day on 800 calories. Did you find exercising difficult on 800 calories? If so how long before you had enough energy to do it?

  • posted by topcac
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    HI Michael

    You say earlier that you aim to get down to 12st 7lbs. With the best will in the world it’s unlikely you will reach that by the end of your first 8 weeks so thinking about transitioning may be a little premature. However, if you really want to start transitioning at the end of this 8 week programme (and it’s quite OK to carry on after 8 weeks – lots of people do it) then I would suggest taking it really slowly as you really want to be able to gauge the amount of calories and carbs that you can eat whilst still losing weight. Everyone is different of course but I can almost guarantee that 2400 per day will be too many. I am on maintenance now and can still only eat around 1200-1600 per day – nowhere near the 2000 recommended for women.

    With regards exercise, I don’t think that two 15 minute bike rides will require you to eat more than your 800 even though that sounds counter intuitive. I worked out regularly while losing weight on this plan – 5k runs three times a week, swimming, rowing and free weights. I won’t lie, I did get hungrier, but timed my workouts and my meals to make sure that I could eat soon afterwards.

    Good luck with week 6!

  • posted by Mixnmatch
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    Hi topcac, I am up nearer 2100 calories on average to stand still and I am not that energetic, with a very sedentary job during the weekdays. If you build up muscle to burn it and increase your calories slowly you may find you can eat more than you think and not increase your weight.

    David, I continued playing badminton right through my fasting period, in the early days I would hit a ‘wall’ where my legs would just stop working, but after a few weeks I found I could even do two back to back hour long sessions again. Just keep an eye on your carbs, and when your glycogen is depleted and your body converts to burning fat it will get a lot easier. The fitness will come, and I certainly found that heaving my (former) bulk around was very helpful in building muscle πŸ˜€

  • posted by Michael5
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    Hi Topac. I’m really looking to loose weight much more slowly after the initial 8 weeks so as to minimise the loose skin problems that come with weight loss. I have found that I am able to exercise, and have managed an hour at the gym without feeling too bad at the time. However, it has left me very tired later in the day. After two gym sessions a couple of weeks ago, I ended up sleeping for 3 hours in the afternoon due to tiredness.

    I did used to weigh around 12st 7lbs and was exercising regularly. At that weight I found I could eat around 3000 calories a day and that my weight was pretty constant. I’m a decade older now, so I might not need so much, but I am hoping to get back into the 10k runs I used to be able to do.

    How have people been finding MyFitnessPal’s and Fitbit’s accuracy? After a long day of decorating today, it reckons I should have eaten a ridiculous 5000 calories!

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